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It doth suck, and verily doth it blow

Here’s a nicer bit of architecture: the Landgate Arch in Rye. There were originally four fortified gates into Rye, of which the Landgate (1329) is the last survivor. Unfortunately, it’s still the main route through Rye, and satnav keeps sending buses and trucks through it. They don’t fit. It’s been chipping away at the stones for years.

Worse, there’s no roof. So the council hung netting up across the top to keep birds out, which didn’t keep the birds out at all, but does occasionally tangle one up and kill it. Hence the arch is full of shit and the whole top is festooned with rotting birds. Nice.

Oh, also the clock stopped working because nobody was willing to wade through birdshit to fix it.

The town council finally needled the county council into doing stuff. These guys turned up in moon suits with a specialized truck. See that tanker? It simultaneously blows water out one hose and draws it up with another. They have hoovered up 25 tons of birdshit using this process!

I don’t know what they’re going to do to keep it from filling up with birdshit again. A roof is a possibility. I can’t help thinking that whenever we visit a ruin — if you put a roof on that thing, it would last a thousand years longer! (And you could live in it, too).

Anyway, there you go. As private owners of a listed building, we could go to jail if we neglected this place or fixed it wrong (in theory — it’s a criminal, not a civil, offense). But when government does it…


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 26, 2015, 9:44 pm

But when government does it…

they hand each other awards & then berate you for trying to get Award-Winning Public Servants™ fired, you heathen!

Comment from mojo
Time: February 26, 2015, 11:01 pm

And it’s called the “Kroll Combination Unit”! I think we’re got a Marvel connection here somewhere. Keep your eyes open for weird-lookin’ folks in tights.

Comment from mojo
Time: February 26, 2015, 11:03 pm

You watch. It’ll turn out to be a plot by Dr. Doom, and it’s really called something a little more exciting – like “Gaia-Crusher Omega 9000″…

Comment from Anonymous
Time: February 26, 2015, 11:54 pm

That arch is just a plot by the local farmers to get free fertilizer. Sounds as if 25 tons of same are now readily available…

By the way, the professionalism at the Rye and Battle Observer is quite apparent in that article. Almost as if they imported some AA hires from West Pondia, as it were…

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: February 27, 2015, 12:05 am

Things that simultaneously suck and blow? Reminds me of Congress & our very own O’BuggerBoy.

Someone in Rye should take up Falconry (or Eaglery or Hawkry or Buzzardry) in a big way and rid the thing of its pests.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 27, 2015, 2:06 pm

But the BBC told me that cats were killing all the birds

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 27, 2015, 4:50 pm

Excuse me,but is there a Brit in the house? If so, could someone translate a piece of Brit-speak for me?

Broken link fixed
Posted at 15:21
A few of you have reported a broken link to Lee McKenzie’s Force India story. Apologies. This is now fixed in the original entry so fill your boots.

“Fill your Boots”?????

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 27, 2015, 5:19 pm

Boot is a trunk in American. It means have a penis put in your bottom, or go fuck yourself. I think. Or maybe it means something else.

Also, Leonard Nimoy appears to be dead. Live long & prosper, boot-fillers.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: February 27, 2015, 5:58 pm

It means “partake without limit or thought of propriety”. Say, for example, a large buffet with free beer has been laid on in a tent after a cricket match and the host is anxious that his guests should not feel they should stand upon ceremony and instead make absolute beasts of themselves. “Come on lads, fill yer boots!” he will say, and general merriment and over-indulgence and boot-filling will take place. Closely related is, “get stuck in!” and “have at it!”

So now you know.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 27, 2015, 7:13 pm

Thanks David. I think I like your explanation better than Stark’s.

Besides, call me crazy, but “Gillies” just sounds like a more authentic British Surname than “Dickflüssig” to me.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: February 27, 2015, 7:59 pm

I would merely posit that “Dickflüssig” is a VERY authentic British surname in some parts of your fair isle…

Comment from Nina
Time: February 27, 2015, 11:24 pm

I’m so using that, David!

Comment from The Mad Soprano
Time: February 27, 2015, 11:54 pm

Who in their right mind tries to use nets as roofing in an area that’s got tons of starlings?

Comment from Anonymous
Time: February 27, 2015, 11:55 pm

But Nina, it is not unusual for those who “fill your boots” as defined by Stark Dickflüssig to “get stuck in” and “have at it“…

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